Events Archives - East Cheshire Hospice

Drive in Cinema

Watch cinema classics in the shadow of Capesthorne Hall in the comfort of your own car. The invitation comes from East Cheshire Hospice which has announced its first Drive-In Cinema on Sunday, October 17.

Gates open at 6 pm with family fun film Moana on screen from 6.30 pm. The next arrival time is between 9  pm and 9:15 pm for another box office favourite Dirty Dancing, the 80s classic starting at 9.30 pm.

Amazingly, it will the Hospice’s first fundraising event for two years because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Its last event was a Tough Woofer 5K obstacle course in October 2019, also at Capesthorne Hall.

Aiming for a box office hit with a Drive-In Cinema….East Cheshire Hospice Events Manager Beth Candy (left) and Challenge and Events Co-ordinator Bethan Wade.

Marketing Manager Luke Brightmore said: “It’s hard to believe we’ve been away for so long with an  event organised by the Hospice, but as everyone is aware restrictions have prevented us from staging mass participation gatherings. “We’ve two terrific film choices and guests can feel the ocean calling or put on those dancing shoes for an evening of entertainment, all from the safety and comfort of their own vehicle.”

Tickets are £25 per car for one film or £35 for both.  Pizzas from Pizza Principle, popcorn and candy floss will be available and cinema goers can also bring their own snacks and drinks.

Social distancing measures will be in place. Queues for food and drinks will be marked out with at least one metre spacing and hand sanitising stations will be available. Parking marshals will ensure plenty of space between each car.

To book tickets and find out more information about the event, visit the Hospice’s website

Macc Open Art Exhibition Returns

The online Macclesfield Open Art Exhibition returns in September and October in aid of East Cheshire Hospice.

The exhibition was revived last year by organiser Geoff Archer and featured work by 236 artists who submitted 651 works, all of which were displayed.

Geoff Archer with one of his paintings Pick Up

Geoff, a painter and former head of art at Henbury High School, said: “Last year’s event was meant to be a one-off, assuming things would be back to normal by now. However, the postponement of Art Fair Cheshire which raises a lot of money for the Hospice, and the consequent loss of funds, convinced me that another Open would be worth doing.

“Last year’s exhibition was a great success and we raised a few thousand pounds for the Hospice. We hope to do at least as well this year.”

Instead of an entry fee, artists make donations to the Hospice and with most works for sale, those who sell are also asked to make a contribution to the charity in lieu of usual commission.

Geoff said: “The exhibition is open to all artists, amateur or professional and there’s no age limit. “Artists are allowed to submit a maximum of three works. Usually there’s a selection process at galleries because of a lack of space to hang items, but like last year everything submitted will be shown.”

Visit for information about submitting work where there is a link to the charity’s website for donations. The public can view exhibits at that website when the exhibition starts.

Daring Double Wing Walk

Thrill seeker Andrew Hine admits roller coasters will never quite be the same again after a daring wing walk. The father-of-two even went up in the air twice so he could perform loop- the-loops on his second attempt. He joined other daredevils at an airfield in Gloucestershire, all of them raising funds for East Cheshire Hospice. The flights were on top of a classic 1940s Boeing Stearman biplane. Andrew, from Upton Priory, honoured the memory of grandfather Norman Wilcox who died in the Hospice in 1995.

Andrew Hine ready for his wing walk adventure.

Andrew, a support worker for adults with learning difficulties, said: “I’ve never experienced anything like it before and the days of Alton Towers and Blackpool Pleasure Beach might not be quite as exciting any more.

“I know it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, but when I saw they only do upside down from a second wing walk I couldn’t resist. “I’ve not been spending a lot of money during lockdown so thought I’d treat myself and it was a fun thing to do and a great adrenalin rush. “The pilot managed to do a few aerobatic manoeuvres, including a couple of stall turns and two loop-the-loops. It was a brilliant day. “The most daring thing I’d done was a sky dive 15 years ago and to some it would have looked terrifying and the worst thing you can possibly imagine, but for me it was exciting.”

Wife Lahdan was there to witness Andrew’s aerial acrobatics. To sponsor him visit

Other high flyers included seven members of the Hospice staff. Health care assistants Joanne Helm, Jill Harding, Caroline Allen and Pam Webster were joined by complementary therapist Gill Black, staff nurse Laura Parker and fundraiser Bethan Wade.

The oldest participant was Hospice volunteer Barbara Spivey who, at 74, was one of several grandmothers who undertook the challenge.

Bethan said: “It was an amazing day and a different kind of fundraising challenge and we’d like to thank everyone for taking part and raising funds for the Hospice.  Everyone had a great time and hopefully we can arrange another wing walk.”

Art Fair Delayed

The organisers of Art Fair Cheshire have reluctantly taken the decision to postpone the event until May 2022. The biennial art fair takes place at Macclesfield Town Hall in support of East Cheshire Hospice. The decision has been taken because of the on-going uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic. The popular event had been scheduled to start at the end of September.

Co-chair Georgie Johnson said: “We’re disappointed to have to postpone the event but strict limits on numbers allowed in the Town Hall, along with rising Covid cases, means that we felt we had no choice. “We’ve had such generous support from sponsors this year and rather than risk that funding if the event were cancelled at the last minute, we’ve decided to re-book the event for May 26 until June 5 next year. “All of our participating artists are on board to take part again and we look forward to seeing everyone then.”

Visitors at the last Art Fair in 2019.

Art Fair Cheshire involves more than 80 artists, each of whom donates 40 per cent of the sales of their work to the Hospice. The event has been running for 22 years and is proud to support artists from all over the north west. The next event will feature a new gallery of emerging and recently-graduated artists as well as many artists from across the region and beyond. Local primary schools are also involved and have been busy designing sunflowers, which feature on the Hospice logo. These will be displayed as a huge wall of celebratory flowers when the event opens next year.

Sunflowers drawn by pupils at Alderley Edge School for Girls as part of a project to involve schools in the next Art Fair in May 2022

Two years ago the event raised £45,000 to provide funds for the Hospice’s art therapy unit. It has donated around £300,000 to the Hospice since 1999. To sign up to the Art Fair Cheshire newsletter, or for more information about events, talks and artists, visit It is the latest fundraising event in aid of the Hospice to be delayed by the Covid crisis. The Hospice has already put back its Memory Miles walk at Adlington Hall from late August until Friday, March 25.

Wing Walk Takeoff Delayed

A Wing Walk has had to be delayed five weeks in the latest blow to East Cheshire Hospice’s fundraising plans.

Bad weather was one of the reasons the challenge was put back until Monday, July 26.

A rise in Covid infections leading to Cheshire East being made an ‘enhanced response area’  was another factor.

The event, which sees wing walkers harnessed on top of a 1940s Boeing Stearman biplane, is fully subscribed.

The postponement adds to the tension for participants, including five grandmothers, the eldest of whom Barbara Spivey (74) runs a fancy dress shop on Chestergate.


Wing Walk grannies …from left,  Pam Webster, Gill Black, Jacky Macleod and Barbara Spivey.


The effects of Covid-19 have badly affected plans by the Hospice fundraising team whose last mass participation event was a Tough Woofer dog walk in October, 2019.

That means there will be a two-year gap until the next event, a Drive-in Cinema at Capesthorne Hall, on Sunday, October 17.

A Memory Miles walk due in August has now been shelved until March 25 next year.

Events Manager Beth Candy said: “We’re pretty confident the cinema event will go ahead. It’s been such a frustrating time for our supporters and losing so many events has wrecked our fundraising plans.

“We’d appeal to anyone who can raise funds for the Hospice to please support us in whatever way they can. The last 18 months have been so tough and the sooner we’re back to normal the better.

“Any donations, large or small, will much such a huge difference to the care of our patients.”


The wing walk facing Hospice fundraisers.  

Memory Walk Postponed Again

East Cheshire Hospice has been forced to postpone its Memory Miles walk yet again because of the Covid crisis.

The new date is Friday, March 25, 2022, at Adlington Hall – almost three years after the Hospice last staged its flagship memory walk.

The August 27 event has been postponed reluctantly, amid on-going uncertainty over the easing of lockdown restrictions.

The absence of mass participation events is a major financial blow to the Hospice.

The next event is a Drive-in Cinema on Sunday, October 17, at Capesthorne Hall, where the charity’s last fundraising event, a Tough Woofer dog walk, took place two years ago.

Organisers are hoping it will be a case of fifth time lucky for the Memory Walk which was cancelled twice in 2020 (April and September) and twice in 2021 (May and August).

Events Manager Beth Candy said:  “We’re very sad to keep having to cancel these events, but when we do eventually stage our next one and all get back together again it’s going to be bigger and better and more amazing than ever before.

“The memory walk is extra special to us because it’s a celebration of lost loved ones. It’s an event we get most sponsorship from because of its very nature.”


Walkers enjoying the memory walk two years ago.


The Hospice had delayed accepting registrations until the government made its most recent announcement to put back the final easing of lockdown restrictions.

Beth said: “People would have had mixed emotions about us launching an event in the current circumstances with restrictions in place, even though we’d probably have been out of those restrictions by the time the walk came round.

“But we want to make sure there aren’t going to be any restrictions and don’t have to cap the numbers taking part. Unfortunately, there was the potential for that to be the case.

“We want to be confident we can do it and want everyone to be confident they can attend.

“We’re looking forward to seeing everyone coming together again in March and want to thank everyone for their loyalty, patience and understanding.”

The Memory Walk, formerly Light Up The Night, was to have been the climax to a Memory Miles event in which fundraisers undertake their own challenge by whatever means they wish.


The last memory walk in 2019.

Bill’s Open Garden

The roots of Bill North’s love of gardens go back to his days as a teenager.

His first job was as an apprentice horticulturalist and he spent his entire career involved in parks and gardens in some capacity.

Bill eventually retired as head of leisure at the then Macclesfield Borough Council in 2009.

He is one of several East Cheshire Hospice supporters opening up their gardens to the public this summer to raise funds for charity.

Bill and wife Julie entertained visitors at their beautiful garden on Kennedy Avenue as part of their annual support for the National Garden Scheme.

The Hospice provided teas for guests who admired herbaceous borders, Acer trees and countless flower pots and hanging baskets.

Bill said: “I dote on my garden and spend hours in it. I love it and genuinely feel better when I’m outside.

“I was very fortunate that my hobby was my career and once our garden is sorted at the start of the year it’s a matter of mainly keeping on top of it.

“We’ve a covered area where we love entertaining. That’s why we’re pleased to be coming out of lockdown because we can start to have people round again like before.”

Core beneficiaries of the Nation Garden Scheme include Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK and The Queen’s Nursing Institute.

The couple have now decided to hold a second Open Gardens day on Sunday, August 15, with proceeds in aid of the Hospice only. Find out more here.


Gardeners’ world….Bill and Julie North in their back garden.

Art Fair Cheshire Returns this Autumn

Art Fair Cheshire returns this autumn featuring works by established and emerging artists.

The biennial event will take place at Macclesfield Town Hall from Thursday, September 23, until Sunday, October 3.

Organisers are dedicating specific gallery space to artists who may have recently graduated from creative degrees.

The move is an opportunity for the next generation of artists to exhibit work, reach a wide audience, make sales and gain recognition.

Each exhibiting artist donates a percentage from the sale of their work to East Cheshire Hospice.

Two years ago the event raised £45,000 to provide funds for the Hospice’s art therapy unit. It also attracted record sponsorship with organisers now aiming to build on that success.

Art Fair Cheshire – showcasing work by more than 80 local and regional artists – has donated around £300,000 to the Hospice since 1999.

Co-chair Georgie Johnson said:  “In addition to our fantastic exhibition, we’ll have a pop-up cafe, artist talks as well as lively debates with experienced gallery guides.

“For the first time, we’ll be hosting a gallery of newly-graduated and emerging artists. We’re keen to support artists who might not have exhibited before and look forward to showcasing their work.

“We love working with artists, makers and creators to develop a truly unique event which not only showcases art, but celebrates community and giving.  We invite people to join us and support East Cheshire Hospice and discover some wonderful art while they do so.”

* For more information visit


Visitors enjoying Art Fair Cheshire in 2019.

What Women Want Return

Five friends who call themselves What Women Want are back in business planning events after Covid curtailed their fundraising.

A glitzy ball at Cranage Hall on Friday, November 12, is already sold out assuming restrictions have ended fully by then.

The group has still managed to carry on fundraising for East Cheshire Hospice during the pandemic, although on a much smaller scale because of government limitations.

One of the group Jo Millward raised £1,300 after running a half marathon last month after injury forced her to delay her challenge.


Jo Millward completing her half marathon in aid of East Cheshire Hospice.


Meanwhile, fellow member Jill Harding is undertaking a wing walk on Monday, June 21, in aid of the Hospice where she is a health care assistant.

Jill fell in love with the Hospice after her late mum Mary was a patient there 18 years ago.

Group chair Jayne Carter said: “All the tickets have gone for the Ball if it’s allowed to go ahead.  We’re just waiting on Boris Johnson’s announcement on June 21 and are thinking of calling it the Masked Ball since we’ve all been wearing masks.

“Our disco bingo nights at Tytherington School usually attract 200 people but we’re not sure whether they can go ahead yet.

“It’s been hugely frustrating and we all feel really sorry that we haven’t been able to raise much-needed funds.

“We’ve organised online raffles and had a couple of meetings, but have missed doing big events which is hard when the Hospice needs the money.

“It’s been a difficult time for them and we’re a bit detached from it all as we’ve been unable to go in to the Hospice.

“We may not make as much money from the Ball, especially as we were lucky enough to get a massive £1m donation from sponsors Proseal a couple of years ago, but this time it’ll be much more about raising the profile of the Hospice and having fun again.”

Elaine Burgess and Julie Barnes make up the Macclesfield quintet who have been fundraising for the Hospice for 13 years.

Jill has already raised £1,590 for her wing walk at an airfield in Gloucestershire. To sponsor her visit

What Women Want made a £25,000 donation to help launch the Hospice @Home service in 2017 and later bought a car for staff to visit patients at home.

The group has also bought equipment and many other practical items for the Hospice.


What Women Want fundraisers (from left) – Jo Millward, Julie Barnes, Jill Harding, Jayne Carter and Elaine Burgess

Wing Walking Grannies

Fictional fighter pilot Biggles is back in the skies for his next heroic adventure – this time as fearless flying grannies.

Age is no barrier for the five fundraisers who will climb on top of a classic 1940s Boeing Stearman biplane for a wing walk next month.

Health and safety requirements prevent them from wearing helmets, goggles, sheepskin jackets and scarves for their aerial stunt in aid of East Cheshire Hospice.

The outfits belong to Hospice volunteer Barbara Spivey who, at 74, is the oldest of the granny squadron.

She has run Spivey’s Web, a fancy dress shop on Chestergate which also sells unusual gifts, for 30 years with daughter Donna.

Donna has declined the challenge, unlike her brave mum who sported the outfits with fellow wing walkers to promote the flights.

Barbara said: “I’m an avid traveller and always fancied a wing walk. I went close to Everest base camp aged 64 and have visited places like Iran, Kazakhstan and South America. Travelling is the be all and end all for me and I’ve a friend who runs wildlife tours.”

Barbara has been a ward volunteer at the Hospice for 15 years but has been unable to help here for more than a year because of Covid restrictions.

Her late sister-in-law was cared for in a local hospice, persuading Barbara to become a volunteer.

Friend Jacky Macleod is also taking part in the wing walk at an airfield in Gloucestershire on Monday, June 21.

Jacky said: “I was a trolley dolly a long time ago and am trying not to think about being strapped to the top of a plane.”

Between them, the women have 18 grandchildren, eight of them for Hospice health care assistant Pam Webster.

Pam said: “I did a sky dive 15 years ago and it was brilliant. A wing walk has been on my ‘to do’ list and one of my grandchildren is convinced I’m going to fall. Another has said I’m mad, while my mum wonders what on earth I’m doing.”

Colleague Caroline Allen and complementary therapist Gill Black are the other grandmothers  sponsored for the challenge.

Gill said: “I like to do a challenge every year and have done a Firewalk before. I’m nervous, don’t like heights and am not too keen on flying. However, I’ll probably feel better on the outside of a plane rather than the inside.”

Four of the granny squadron. From left, Pam Webster, Gill Black, Jacky Macleod and Barbara Spivey.